RIte@Home is designed for individuals who require considerable assistance with their activities of daily living and cannot live alone. This program enables them to remain living in a home environment instead of a nursing home. Typically, the individual in need of care moves into the home of his or her caregiver.
Eligible caregivers are relatives and friends, but not spouses. Caregivers are required to provide all personal care services and be on call 24/7, though it is not expected they provide 24/7 care. For example, participants in this program can also receive adult day care.
Caregivers are paid for their efforts and supported by the Health and Human Services Office. They are provided training, nursing support and respite, and are monitored for the quality of care they provide. Intermediary agencies manage many of the interactions with the state program and provide a valuable service. Currently, two agencies have been approved as intermediaries, and it is required that program participants work with one of them.
Care recipients are expected to pay their caregiver for room and board from their SSI or Social Security checks. Rhode Island Medicaid does not pay for room and board.
This program is managed by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. It is offered as a benefit under the Comprehensive Demonstration Waiver.
Individuals must be unable to live independently and require considerable assistance with their activities of daily living. The program is available to residents who are 65 and older, or 18-64 and have a disability.
An applicant must be financially qualified to receive long term services and supports Medicaid. Rhode Island Medicaid considers an applicant’s income, assets and their history of asset transfers.
In 2023, a single individual can qualify if his or her monthly income is below $2,742 per month. For married applicants, only the income of the applicant spouse is counted when applying for long-term care benefits. Married applicants with a non-applicant spouse may transfer part or, in some cases, even all of their monthly income to their non-applicant spouse. As of January 2023, this amount may be as much as $3,715.50 a month and is called a monthly maintenance needs allowance.
This is one way that an applicant can effectively lower his or her countable income while ensuring his or her non-applicant spouse has enough income from which to live. Applicants can also meet the income test if their income is not enough to cover the cost of their monthly, recurring medical expenses.
Single applicants in 2023 are permitted to retain up to $4,000 in countable assets. If an applicant is married and his or her spouse is not receiving Medicaid assistance, the non-applicant spouse can retain up to $148,620 of the couples’ joint assets. This rule is in place to prevent the non-applicant spouse from becoming impoverished and is called the community spouse resource allowance.
The value of the couples’ place of residence, provided the equity value does not exceed $688,000, is not counted toward the Medicaid asset total. However, since this program entails alternative housing for seniors with a functional need, their home would not be owner-occupied and would count as an asset if a spouse were not living in it.
Please Note: Asset transfers and gifts made by the Medicaid applicant for up to 60 months preceding his or her date of application may be reviewed. This is to ensure they were not given away or sold under market value with the simple goal of reducing total assets to qualify for Medicaid. This is referred to as the Medicaid Look Back Period. Additional details are available here.
For those unsure of their eligibility status, assistance is available.
Caregivers provide all personal care, meals, homemaker services and chores, transportation, socialization, and are on call 24/7. Agencies will provide respite care to the caregiver. Adult day care is also available for those participants whose caregivers are unable to be available 24/7.
RIte@Home is available to residents throughout the state of Rhode Island. One can learn more about this program by downloading a brochure or by visiting the Executive Office of Health & Human Services’ website.
To apply, contact Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services at 401-462-6393, or one of the two approved agencies: